Monday 25 June 2012

The Highlight of the Night

A month ago Chris Jericho was suspended for mercilessly attacking a Brazilian flag at a WWE live event (read about it here). When he disappeared from our screens he was playing a bad guy and was just entering into a feud with Randy Orton. Things have changed since then.

Tonight ‘Y2J’ will return to RAW. Considering WWE’s current lack of top line babyfaces and the video of Jericho on stage with Fozzy that was aired on last week’s Monday night show there’s a good chance he will be coming back as a good guy. That would be a good move for WWE to make. Not only would Jericho help plug a gap on the roster but he would also have a chance to freshen up his act. Even though he’s only been back in the company since January it’s sorely needed: the cartoon villain he likes to play has become depressingly stale.

Whether he comes back as a good guy or a bad guy ‘The King of the World’ will definitely not be resuming his rivalry with ‘The Viper’ this evening. Orton was hit with a suspension the week after Jericho and will be on the side-lines for another month. Rumours that he’ll be switching back to a heel role upon his television return mean that a Jericho v Orton feud is still a possibility but  even if that’s the play Jericho will still be without a storyline for a month.

Will Chris Jericho be the highlight of the night when he returns to RAW?

Thankfully WWE has plenty of potential opponents for ‘Y2J’. The man I would personally like to see Jericho tangle with over the next few months in Daniel Bryan. The former undisputed champion tends to work better when facing smaller opponents and ‘D-Bryan’ gets a good match out of anyone. I would expect a Jericho v Bryan series to easily better the Jericho v CM Punk series we saw earlier in the year.

The former ‘American Dragon’ is underrated on the microphone too. He’s become a little overshadowed by a certain word recently and has always been more known for his wrestling skills over his verbal skills (and rightly so) but he’s very accomplished on the stick and could hang with a talented talker like Jericho. Their promos could be very memorable.

Speaking of talented talkers, how about Damien Sandow as an opponent for ‘The Paragon of Virtue’? He’s arguably the most promising newcomer introduced to WWE programming this year and would benefit from working against a man with Jericho’s reputation. He’s not had much chance to shine in matches thus far but I think he’s good enough to work an enjoyable six or seven minute match on pay-per-view.

Jericho could even be used to give the tag team scene a boost. The Prime Time Players could interrupt his return speech (you know he’s going to give one) and attempt to “take his spot.” That could lead to Jericho and a partner entering into a three-way programme with the heel PTPs and the tweener duo of Epico and Primo unit. ‘Y2J’ could even replace R-Truth as Kofi Kingston’s tag team partner.

WWE have given up on the push of Tensai over the last two months. That’s a shame because Matt Bloom has improved a lot since his previous run with the promotion as A-Train and could, if given a sustained push without constant changes being made to his character, get over as a star in the organisation. He’d make an interesting, not to mention unexpected, choice of opponent for Jericho.

The Fozzy frontman could be used to finally elevate Cody Rhodes further up the card. The former ‘Dashing One’s’ programme with Christian feels liked it’s being dragged out for the sake of it right now. A feud with Jericho would be something fresh and interesting and would also be building for the future. WWE have been neglecting Rhodes since WrestleMania when they should be doing everything possible to help him make it to the top bracket. A high profile programme with Jericho could be his ticket out of the mid-card, which the promotion should want because he has the potential to become their next bankable heel star.

Jericho needs to be used to crete as many new stars as possible. His commitments with Fozzy may see him disappear from TV again within the next few months and he’s stated in several interviews that music, not wrestling, his now his number one priority. WWE needs to make use of him while they have him.

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